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EFCC arraigns ex-Makurdi varsity VC for fraud

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…Nabs seven internet fraudsters in Calabar

THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Makurdi zonal office have arraigned a former Vice-Chancellor of University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Prof. Emmanuel Kucha, over alleged N70 million fraud.

Kucha is facing a four-count charge of conspiracy, misappropriation of public funds, abuse of office and gratification before a Federal High Court, Makurdi.

The former vice chancellor, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The prosecuting counsel, Mr Y. Tarfa, told the court that Kucha committed the offences while serving as a public officer at the university between 2012 and 2017.

According to him, the defendant collected the money as bribe in the course of performing his official duties, adding that the money was paid into Kucha’s Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) Account No: 0124395144 as a bribe for performing his official duties.

Tarfa said that the offences contravened Section 18(c) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offenses Act, 2000.

The Defence Counsel, Mr Timothy Dim, urged the court to grant his client bail on liberal terms, and also remand him in EFCC custody, pending the perfection of the bail condition.

Justice A. Olajuwon granted the defendant bail in the sum of N10 million, with one surety in like sum.

Olajuwon ordered that the surety must be a public servant with the federal or Benue State government on Grade Level 17.

He said that the court must confirm the authenticity of the documents of the surety.

Olajuwon ordered that the former vice chancellor be remanded in EFCC’s custody, pending the perfection of his bail conditions.

He adjourned till January 5, 2020 for trial.

In another development, following  the latest crack down on Nigeria’s Internet fraudsters, operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Uyo Zonal Office have arrested seven suspects at two locations in Calabar, Cross River State Capital.

According to a statement from the office, five of the suspected Cyber Criminals were arrested in Block – L, mixed – use layout, parliamentary Extension Ikot Ansa, Calabar Municipality.

The suspects are Emmanuel Omengala 23, Jude Segun 24, Paul Omengala, 25. Also arrested are Ogah Ugbabe, 21, a student and valentine, Obonga 24, also a student.

The remaining two, arrested in Ekorinini phase II are siblings. They are promise Ben Nkanga, an unemployed from Mkpat Enin, Akwa Ibom State and Stephen Ben Nkanga his brother, 22 an an accounting student of the University of Calabar, Cross River State.

Some of the items recovered from them are one Toyota Camry, One Apple MacBook, Airtel 49 with router, one iPhone X, one iPhone smart watch, one Infinix Hot  5, WACE Scratch Card, one IPhone 8 max, two IPhone 7 plus, one international passport, one HP Elite book (Laptop) and one Apple MacBook Pro laptop.

The EFCC said the suspects will be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded.

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